- Step 1: Talk to your lender Arrange a meeting with your lender as soon as you realize you're having problems making your monthly mortgage payments. Discuss repayment plans that will allow you to stay in your home.
- Step 2: Avoid scam artists Beware of anyone who says they can help you avoid foreclosure for an upfront fee. They are most likely scam artists.
- Step 3: Ponder your options Consider what sacrifices you could make that would enable you to make your payments. Could you take in a boarder? Sell a car? Take on another job?
- Step 4: Ask for mortgage modification Ask if you can modify your mortgage to make your payments more affordable. Options include adding your missed payments to the existing loan balance, lowering your interest rate, or extending the number of years you have to repay the loan.
- TIP: If your mortgage is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, try to negotiate a one-time interest-free loan that you won't have to repay for several years.
- Step 5: Request forbearance Explore the possibility of forbearance: The lender agrees to reduce or suspend your payments for a set period of time, after which point you agree to begin paying regularly again.
- Step 6: Negotiate a repayment plan Negotiate a plan that allows you to repay missed mortgage payments by adding a portion of them to your current monthly payment until you're caught up.
- Step 7: Talk to an HUD counselor If you and your lender are unable to agree on a solution, contact a Housing and Urban Development counselor for help. Find one in your area by going on their web site, "hud.gov":http://hud.gov.
- TIP: Don't confuse the official government site, which ends in ".gov," with web sites using similar names.
- Step 8: Have HOPE Call HOPE NOW for homeowners, a government-approved program that helps borrowers refinance their mortgage. Visit "hopenow.com":http://hopenow.com for information and a telephone number.
- FACT: Seventy percent of homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage payments aren't aware of the help that's available to them.
You Will Need
- A meeting with your lender
- A Department of Housing and Urban Development counselor
- The HOPE NOW program